Buck Taylor Biography

Buck Taylor is an American actor and painter, best known for his performance as ‘Newly O’Brien’ in the ‘CBS’ series ‘Gunsmoke.’ Check out this biography to know about his childhood, family, personal life, career, and achievements.

Quick Facts

Birthday: May 13, 1938

Nationality: American

Famous: Actors Artists

Age: 82 Years, 82 Year Old Males

Sun Sign: Taurus

Also Known As: Walter Clarence Taylor, III

Born Country: United States

Born in: Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, United States

Famous as: Actor

Height: 1.83 m


Spouse/Ex-: Goldie Ann Taylor (m. 1995), Judy Nugent (m. 1961 – div. 1983)

father: Dub Taylor

mother: Florence Gertrude Heffernan

U.S. State: California

City: Los Angeles

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Buck Taylor is an American actor and painter, best known for his performance as ‘Newly O’Brien’ in the long-running ‘CBS’ TV series ‘Gunsmoke.’ Taylor grew up on movie sets, watching his father, a famous Hollywood actor, work with stalwarts such as John Wayne, Tex Ritter, and ‘Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys.’ With a strong affinity for the acting profession, he began appearing in TV series in the 1960s. He is also a notable watercolor artist, with a career spanning 50 years. One of his recent portraits was that of his friend and ‘Gunsmoke’ co-star James Arness. His specializes in paintings of the American West. Each year, he creates posters for several Texas rodeos. In between movie roles, he continues to attend annual shows and events such as the ‘Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo’ to promote the Western heritage through his paintings. He has been living on and running a ranch near Fort Worth, Texas, with his wife.

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Childhood & Early Life
  • In 1961, Taylor made his acting debut with the role of ‘Trooper Shattuck’ in an episode of the ‘CBS’ series ‘Dick Powell’s Zane Grey Theatre,’ titled ‘Image of a Drawn Sword.’ The following year, he appeared in the sitcoms ‘The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet’ and ‘My Favorite Martian.’
  • In 1963, he was cast in the ‘ABC’ series ‘The Greatest Show on Earth.’ He portrayed ‘Mickey Vecchione’ in an episode of ‘Going My Way,’ titled ‘My Son the Social Worker.’ The same year, he starred in his first movie, the ‘Walt Disney’ production ‘Johnny Shiloh.’
  • In 1964, he appeared in an uncredited role in ‘Ensign Pulver’ and played the frustrated newlywed ‘Gard Hayden’ in an episode of ‘The Outer Limits,’ titled ‘Don’t Open Till Doomsday.’ He played ‘Tobin’ in the fourth episode of the WWII TV series ‘Combat!,’ titled ‘The First Day.’
  • In 1966, he appeared as a motorcycle gang member in ‘The Wild Angels.’ He appeared in ‘Have Gun-Will Travel’ (1962), ‘The Rebel’ (1961), ‘Stoney Burke’ (1962–1963), ‘The Fugitive’ (1963), ‘The Legend of Jesse James’ (1965), ‘The Virginian’ (1964-1966), and ‘The Big Valley’ (1965). He also starred as ‘John “Brad” Bradford,’ along with Michael Anderson Jr. and Barbara Hershey, in ‘ABC’s ‘The Monroes.’ Its plot revolved around an orphaned family trying to survive in the Wyoming wilderness.
  • In 1981, following a long-standing career in ‘Gunsmoke,’ Taylor played outlaw ‘Dan Clifton’ in the film ‘Cattle Annie and Little Britches.’ Clifton’s original nickname, “Dynamite Dan,” was replaced with “Dynamite Dick” in the film.
  • In 1981, he appeared in the ‘ABC’ miniseries ‘East of Eden.’ In 1982, he played ‘Petrie’ in CBS’s ‘Dangerous Company.’
  • From 1983 to 1989, he appeared in ‘Triumphs of a Man Called Horse,’ ‘The Slim Dusty Movie,’ ‘No Man’s Land,’ ‘Wild Horses,’ and ‘‘Louis L’Amour’s Down the Long Hills.’
  • In 1987, he appeared in ‘Proud Men,’ ‘The Alamo: Thirteen Days to Glory,’ ‘Gunsmoke: Return to Dodge,’ and ‘Timestalkers.’ Two years later, he was seen in ‘Desperado: The Outlaw Wars.’
  • He was cast in the recurring role of ‘Detective Bussey’ in the TV series ‘Dallas’ in 1990. He appeared as ‘Tile Coker’ in ‘Conagher’ the following year.
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  • In 1993, he played ‘William Gamble’ in the film ‘Gettysburg’ and ‘Jack Johnson’ in ‘Tombstone.’
  • In 2000, he appeared as ‘Captain Myles Keogh’ in ‘Comanche’ and as ‘Pap Doolin’ in ‘Jericho.’
  • From 2003 to 2008, he appeared in ‘Gods and Generals’ (as ‘General Maxcy Gregg’) and in ‘Screen Door Jesus’ (as ‘Old man Nickles’). He also appeared in ‘The Alamo,’ ‘Flicka,’ and ‘The Mist.’
  • In 2008, he appeared as ‘Ben Lily’ in the ‘CBS’ miniseries ‘Comanche Moon.’ Later that year, he appeared in ‘The Hard Ride,’ ‘The Last Horseman,’ and ‘Legend of Hell’s Gate.’
  • In 2018, he was cast in ‘Yellowstone,’ a modern-day Western, which featured him as an unsentimental wrangler carrying out all the orders of a ranch, including murder. The show has been renewed for a second season.
  • Taylor has been selling his paintings since 1993. These paintings are sold through his website, private art shows, festivals, and art galleries. He is the official artist for several rodeos, such as the ‘Pendleton Round-Up’ in Pendleton, Oregon, and many state fairs.
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Major Works
  • In 1967, Taylor was cast as gunsmith-turned-deputy ‘Newly O’Brien’ in the hugely popular ‘CBS’ series ‘Gunsmoke’.
Awards & Achievements
  • Taylor, whose self-portrait hangs in the ‘Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame’ in Fort Worth, is also an inductee there. He has also received the ‘Spirit of Texas’ award.
  • In 2000, he was memorialized as part of the ‘The Trail of Fame’ on the streets of Dodge City, the western Kansas town where ‘Gunsmoke’ was set.
  • In 2006, he was awarded with the ‘Wrangler,’ or the ‘Western Heritage Award,’ by the ‘National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum’ in Oklahoma City, for his role in ‘Gunsmoke.’
  • Taylor has a plaque on the ‘Walk of the Western Stars’ in Santa Clarita, California, along with some of his ‘Gunsmoke’ cast.
Family & Personal Life
  • Taylor married actor Judy Ann Nugent, Nick Adams’s sister-in-law, in 1961. The couple had three sons (Adam Carlyle Taylor, Matthew Taylor, and Cooper Glenn Taylor) before they divorced in 1983. Adam (now deceased) was an assistant director. Matthew and Cooper are both stuntmen. Taylor has two grandchildren from Adam and his wife, Anne: Carlyle and Zane Taylor.
  • Taylor met his current wife, Goldie, a flight attendant, at a quarter horse show in 1995, where his paintings were being exhibited.

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